Protect Your Rights and Win Your Case
Texas is home to comfortable weather, lots of beautiful open roads, and scenic majesty that makes motorcycle riding a prime attraction. Of course, motorcycles are at a severe disadvantage if they are struck by cars or trucks, which are larger and more shielded against any impact. Motorcycles are also more vulnerable than cars if bad weather forces them to wipe out or run off the road into trees or other objects. The results can be devastating, including severe injuries and even death.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), in the latest reporting year of 2021, there were 521 deaths of persons riding motorcycles, and 45 percent of the deceased were not wearing helmets. By law, motorcyclists and their passengers 21 or older do not have to wear helmets if they've taken a traffic safety course.
What Is a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
A motorcycle accident lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in representing clients involved in motorcycle accidents. They have experience and knowledge of the specific laws and regulations surrounding motorcycle accidents. They can help their clients navigate the legal process to ensure they receive fair compensation for their injuries, damages, and losses.
Why Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
If you've been in a motorcycle accident, you may wonder whether you need a lawyer to help you with your case. The truth is, hiring a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Here are a few reasons why:
- Experience and Knowledge: A motorcycle accident lawyer has experience and knowledge of the specific laws and regulations surrounding motorcycle accidents. They can use this knowledge to help you navigate the legal process and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
- Negotiation Skills: A good motorcycle accident lawyer knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and other parties involved in your case. They can help you get a fair settlement or take your case to court if necessary.
- Protection of Your Rights: A qualified lawyer can protect your rights throughout the legal process. They can ensure that you are treated fairly and that the law handles your case.
How to Choose the Right Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Choosing the proper motorcycle accident lawyer is an important decision. Here are a few things to consider when making your choice:
- Experience: Look for a lawyer with experience representing clients in motorcycle accident cases. The more experience they have, the better equipped they will be to handle your case.
- Reputation: Look for a lawyer with a good reputation in the legal community. Check online reviews, ask for referrals, and do your research to ensure you choose a lawyer with a track record of success.
- Communication Skills: Choose a lawyer who communicates well and is easy to reach. You want a lawyer who will keep you informed throughout the legal process and answer any questions you may have.
- Fees: Ensure you understand the lawyer's fees and how they will be paid. Some lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case. Others may charge hourly fees or a flat rate.
What to Expect When Working with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
When you hire a motorcycle accidents lawyer, you can expect them to:
- Investigate the Accident: Your lawyer will investigate the accident to gather evidence and determine who was at fault.
- Handle Communication with Insurance Companies: Your lawyer will handle all communication with insurance companies and other parties involved in your case.
- Negotiate a Settlement: Your lawyer will negotiate a settlement with the other party or take your case to court if necessary.
- Represent You in Court: If your case goes to court, your lawyer will represent you before a judge and jury.
Steps to Take If You're Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Houston, TX
If you've been involved in a motorcycle accident as a driver or rider, your first responsibility is to seek immediate medical attention. If your injuries do not rise to the level of immediate care and treatment and you can remain on the scene, there are several important steps to take.
First, of course, you need to get the contact and insurance information of the other driver or drivers involved in the incident. Take photos or videos of everything at the scene, including damage to your motorcycle, injuries to you or your rider, and even of the road itself to show the conditions and to highlight any traffic warning signs that may have been violated.
Also, if there are injuries involved or property damage exceeding $1,000, you need to contact the local police and report the accident. If officers come to the scene to investigate, make sure you obtain a copy of their accident report, which can prove vital in any insurance claim or lawsuit.
Since Texas is an at-fault auto insurance state, you can report the accident and make a claim with your own insurance company, which will then seek a subrogation claim against the at-fault driver's insurance company. You can also directly make a claim against the other driver's insurance, or you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the insurer and driver.
However, your best course of action is to contact an accident/personal injury attorney who can then assume the claims process against the insurance company and at-fault driver. Insurers are for-profit businesses, so it is in their interests to limit compensation for your claim or deny it altogether. An experienced attorney knows their tricks and tactics and can counter those efforts to get you the best possible settlement.
Texas Motorcycle Laws
Texas law on motorcycles requires several equipment features, including a tail lamp, a stop lamp, a license plate lamp, a rear red reflector, a headlamp, and of course, the basic operating features such as brakes, tires, horns, mirrors, and more.
Texas law also prohibits lane splitting, which refers to a motorcycle using the space between two vehicles in adjoining lanes to pass them by. As for helmets, motorcyclists under 21 must wear a helmet, meeting Federal Motor Vehicle Standard #218. Those operators and riders 21 and over can become exempt from helmet-wearing if they complete an approved Motorcycle Operator Training Course or if they can show they are covered by at least $10,000 in medical insurance.
Determining Fault in Texas
Motor vehicle and motorcycle operators in Texas are required under law to show care for other drivers on the road and to operate their vehicles in a safe manner so as to prevent injury or damage to others. If this duty of care is broken, then that driver can be considered negligent and become liable for any injuries or damage they cause to others.
Not all accidents, however, are clear-cut in that one driver is 100 percent responsible. Sometimes, both of the vehicle/motorcycle operators in the accident might share responsibility. This is where the modified comparative negligence rule observed in Texas comes into play. For instance, if a motorcyclist who is injured in an accident with a car was lane splitting, which led to the accident, that person could be held liable to a certain extent, as well as the driver who turned into their motorcycle and caused injuries.
The modified comparative negligence rule is also known as the 51 percent rule. This means that if you are more than half responsible (51 percent) for the accident in which you were injured, you cannot sue the other driver or make a claim against their insurance.
The legal principle can also reduce your compensation. Say you are deemed 30 percent at fault; then your settlement or court award will be reduced by 30 percent. If you make a claim or sue for $30,000, for instance, your compensation will be reduced by $9,000, or 30 percent, to $21,000.
What is the average payout for a motorcycle accident in Texas?
Motorcycle accidents can be hazardous and often result in severe injuries or fatalities. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in Texas, you may be wondering what the average payout for a motorcycle accident is. In this article, we'll discuss factors determining the payout for a motorcycle accident in Texas and estimate the average payout.
Understanding motorcycle accidents in Texas
Before we dive into the average payout for a motorcycle accident in Texas, it's essential to understand the nature of motorcycle accidents in Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 412 motorcycle fatalities, and 1,812 suspected severe injuries in 2019 alone.
Factors that determine the payout for a motorcycle accident
Several factors can influence the payout for a motorcycle accident in Texas. Here are some of the critical elements:
1. Severity of injuries
The severity of injuries sustained by the victim is a significant factor in determining the payout for a motorcycle accident. If the injuries are severe, the payout is likely to be higher.
Liability plays a significant role in determining the payout for a motorcycle accident in Texas. If the accident was entirely the other driver's fault, you might be entitled to a more substantial payout.
3. Property damage
If your motorcycle was damaged in the accident, the cost of repairs or replacement could influence the payout for the accident.
4. Lost wages and future earning capacity
If you could not work due to the accident, you might be entitled to compensation for lost wages. Additionally, if your injuries prevent you from working in the future, you may be able to recover compensation for future lost earning capacity.
5. Medical expenses
The cost of medical treatment for injuries sustained in the accident is another critical factor influencing the payout.
The average payout for a motorcycle accident in Texas
It's impossible to provide a definitive average payout for a motorcycle accident in Texas, as each case is unique. However, according to some estimates, the average payout for a motorcycle accident in Texas can range from $5,000 to $50,000.
Motorcycle Accident FAQs
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident in Texas?
In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the accident date.
Will my insurance cover the cost of my motorcycle repairs?
It depends on the type of insurance coverage you have. If you have collision coverage, your insurance will likely cover the cost of repairs.
Can I still file a personal injury claim if I was partially at fault for the accident?
Yes, you may still be able to file a personal injury claim, but your payout may be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer in Texas?
Personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. The percentage they charge can vary, but it's usually around 33% of the settlement amount. The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm always works on a contingency fee basis for personal injury cases. We understand that you should not worry about paying a lawyer out-of-pocket fees after being injured. You should only have to focus on your recovery.
Can I still file a personal injury claim if the accident was a hit-and-run?
Yes, you can still file a personal injury claim if the accident was a hit-and-run. However, identifying the at-fault driver can be more challenging, so it's essential to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Loved One
If you lose a loved one in a motorcycle accident, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. A wrongful death lawsuit is like an extension of a personal injury lawsuit. If the decedent had lived and been able to file a personal injury lawsuit, then you as a child, spouse, or parent of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Other family members such as siblings or grandparents cannot launch a wrongful death lawsuit.
Motorcycle Accident Attorney Serving Houston, Texas
Reach out immediately to The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm when you are injured in a motorcycle accident in or around the Greater Houston Area. We will handle negotiations with the insurance provider, and if need be, take the matter to court through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Your consultation is free, and any action we take will be billed on a contingency basis. You don't pay until we win for you.
If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a motorcycle in or around Houston, Texas – or worse, if a loved one has perished as a result – contact the personal injury/wrongful death attorney at The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm.
No Recovery. No Fee.
Our firm works on a 100% contingency fee basis for your insurance claim.
That means that when a case is taken on, we use our own money and resources to fight for clients. We will investigate, go to court, hire experts, and do whatever is necessary to win your case. We will never ask for any money upfront for contingency matters. No money is owed by the client to us if no monetary recovery is made. That is our promise.
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The key factor in every personal injury case is negligence. When one or more people are negligent in the way they act, or by not acting at all, serious injury can result. Click the contact button to speak with an available personal injury attorney. It's fast, simple, and the first step to getting maximum compensation. We also offer no-contact video consultations.
Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Accidents.
How much does a motorcycle accident lawyer cost?
The cost of a motorcycle accident lawyer can vary depending on several factors, such as their experience, reputation, and the complexity of your case. Some lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case. Others may charge hourly fees or a flat rate. It's important to discuss fees with your lawyer upfront to ensure you understand how much you will be charged and how they will be paid.
What should I do if I've been in a motorcycle accident?
If you've been in a motorcycle accident, you should first seek medical attention for any injuries. You should also contact the police and file a report. Collect as much evidence as possible, such as photos and witness statements. Contact a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses.
How long does it take to resolve a motorcycle accident case?
The length of time it takes to resolve a motorcycle accident case can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of your case and whether it goes to court. Some cases can be resolved quickly through negotiation, while others may take months or years. Your motorcycle accident lawyer can give you a better idea of how long your case will likely take based on the specific circumstances.